Following recent jail sentence, prominent human rights activist’s organization is blacklisted as ‘foreign agent’ for second time
Russian human rights icon Lev Ponomarev’s organization has been labeled a “foreign agent” for the second time after what Russian news sources called an “unplanned document check.” The nonprofit “For Human Rights” had been classified as a foreign agent in December 2014, but Russia’s Justice Ministry removed the designation a year later.
The 77-year-old activist said the Justice Ministry’s decision to reinstate the foreign agent label stemmed from his arrest on December 5 for promoting an unsanctioned rally. Ponomarev posted on social media to express support for protesters, who were demanding the release of young Russians accused of extremism. The Justice Ministry’s document check began later that month, and Ponomarev pointed out that his name was “mentioned multiple times” in a meeting between Russia’s federal human rights council and President Vladimir Putin after the human rights activist was sentenced to 25 days in jail.